Master's Theses

Document Type


Date of Award

Spring 2015

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Communication Sciences and Disorders


Dr. C. Britten


There is a shortage of practicing speech-language pathologists (SLP) and this is not improving. Within the profession, this shortage is felt mostly in a public school. This study explored factors used by graduate students to decide about their profession and applying the knowledge of these factors to the recruitment process. Specifically, this study looked at the following questions: 1. What are the current factors that influence the selection of communication sciences and disorders as a major? 2. Was there a particular person influencing the decision to major in communication sciences and disorders? 3. What prompted students to enter into their particular graduate program? Responses were obtained from 151 graduate students currently enrolled in a graduate program, which represents a 57% response rate. The results found that most people decided to pursue the major in college because of the desire to help others, the availability of jobs, and expected salary with the most influential people being working SLPs and parents. Location and tuition cost were the top factors when deciding on a graduate program. Based on this information, college programs and professionals can utilized more effective recruitment tactics. SLPs, audiologists, students in communication sciences and disorders, and others, should take a more active role regarding communication disorders as a career path to help the younger generation become more aware of the professions at an earlier point in their decision making process regarding a career.


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Copyright 2015 Mackenzie McCartney